SE Asia Stocks-Trade in tight range amid cloudy Fed outlook – Reuters

Posted: September 19, 2019 at 6:45 am

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* U.S. Fed cuts interest rates as expected * Indonesia slips ahead of central bank meet * Malaysia on track to fall for a second session By Anushka Trivedi Sept 19 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets traded ina tight range on Thursday, as investors laid off heavy betsafter the U.S. Federal Reserve delivered an expected rate cutbut provided limited insight on its next move. Fed Chair Jerome Powell described the U.S. economic outlookas "favorable," and said the policy easing was meant to insureagainst ongoing risks including sluggish global growth andongoing trade tensions. The Fed's cautious stance will be of little help to Asianpolicymakers who are weighing additional measures. Indonesia'scentral bank is set to meet later in the day and the Philippinesthe week after, while Fed's cloudy outlook offers less room forthem to ease their respective rates, giving them fewer tools totackle their cooling economies. "Should Fed officials continue conveying mixed policyoutlook to global investors, that could trigger bouts ofvolatility as markets contend with the uncertain projectionssurrounding U.S. interest rates," Han Tan, market analyst atbrokerage FXTM said in a note. Indonesian shares traded a tad lower ahead of thecentral bank policy decision as financials strained thebenchmark. Bank Indonesia is largely expected to slash rates, accordingto a Reuters poll, with government officials stating the policywould be aimed at supporting Indonesia's GDP expansion in lightof a global economic slowdown. Lenders Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT andBank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk PT dropped 0.7% and 1.4%,respectively. The Thai bourse touched a two-week low as localenergy players came under pressure from an overnight tumble inoil prices. Top oil producer PTT PCL slipped 1.1%after scaling 3.2% in the previous session. The Malaysian benchmark index was poised to closelower for a second session, dented by consumer and telecomsectors. A dip in palm oil prices hurt producers of the commodity suchas Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and IOI Corp Bhd, while telco Bhd dropped 1.5%. Singapore shares and the Philippine index werelargely unchanged. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS as at 0352 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3163.79 3166.84 -0.10 Bangkok 1647.7 1654.14 -0.39 Manila 7913.91 7915.29 -0.02 Jakarta 6247.918 6276.633 -0.46 Kuala Lumpur 1594.73 1599.49 -0.30 Ho Chi Minh 993.85 995.15 -0.13 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3163.79 3068.76 3.10 Bangkok 1647.7 1563.88 5.36 Manila 7913.91 7,466.02 6.00 Jakarta 6247.918 6,194.50 0.86 Kuala Lumpur 1594.73 1690.58 -5.67 Ho Chi Minh 993.85 892.54 11.35 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru, Editing by SherryJacob-Phillips)

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SE Asia Stocks-Trade in tight range amid cloudy Fed outlook - Reuters

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September 19th, 2019 at 6:45 am

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